Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Monday, June 12, 2006

More Details of Trashers' Salary Cap Schemes

Obsessed with the excess but stuffed with a crumb, the lessons progress less as professors succumb
James Galante (seated) with UHL President Richard Brosal

From a June 10th article written by Brian Saxton of the Danbury News-Times:

James Galante's dream team, the Danbury Trashers, found itself skating on thin ice Friday with allegations that several of the hockey players and their wives were made part of a plan to defraud the United Hockey League.

Although the families were not identified in the federal indictments, investigators said Galante paid certain players and their spouses with trash company checks, even though they did not work for any of his trash businesses. Investigators said Galante's overall scheme was designed to circumvent the United Hockey League's salary cap.

According to the indictments, five hockey players and their spouses were added to the payrolls of the various companies owned by Galante, even though the players were receiving regular salaries from the Trashers' team account.

One player during the 2004-05 season was allegedly added to the books as a "salesman" for Diversified Waste Disposal and given a DWD check at the end of the month, as well as one from the hockey team.

In 2004, the wife of another hockey player was added to the payroll of Automated Waste Disposal at a yearly salary of $74,000, even though she never worked there.

"The checks from the trash hauling company and the Danbury Trashers would often be personally delivered to the players by Ronald Zollo," said the indictments (Zollo is the controller for Automated Waste Disposal). "Typically, these checks were signed by James Galante or Ronald Zollo."

Along with faxing misleading salary reports to the UHL, Galante's plan enabled some of his carting companies to provide certain players with additional checks, purportedly for a housing allowance.

Investigators said that by under-reporting the players' salaries to the UHL, the defendants avoided the assessment of a monetary fine by the UHL or the imposition of another penalty such as the loss of games.

UHL spokesman Brian Werger would only say that the league was aware of the indictment, and that the Trashers remain a part of the league and "part of the scheduling process" for next year.

Here are some more excellent Trashers-related articles from the Danbury News-Times, from the past several days:

Trashers' future unclear after owner's indictment

Trashers fall under dark cloud

Also, now is probably a good time to pick up your Danbury Trashers team card set, before the speculators snatch all of them up...